Author Juno Dawson has won the Visionary Honours Book of the Year for Proud, an anthology of short stories by LGBTQ+ writers published by Little Tiger Press. Dawson won ahead of fellow shortlistees including Malorie Blackman, Bernardine Evaristo, Scarlett Curtis and Jess Philips.
In her acceptance speech, Dawson stressed the importance of representation in storytelling: "I think it’s more important than ever that LGBTQ youth are able to read about themselves in stories because they are a part of this world." She described herself as "astonished", given the other authors on the shortlist, and accepted it on behalf of all contributors to the book.
Contributors to the anthology were Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.
The Visionary Honours Awards are the first UK awards to champion diversity and inclusion in the arts, entertainment and showbiz. Set up in response to the lack of diversity and inclusion in mainstream awards, from the BAFTAs to the BRIT Awards, the not-for profit Visionary Honours Awards champions and celebrates artists, entertainers and creatives whose work drives social change and debate around topics including diversity, inclusion, equality and mental health.